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72 Names of God

Kabbalistic Uses of Names Derived From The Torah

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The Kabbalah Centre offers a variety and products based on what it calls the 72 Names of God. Jewish scholars and occultists who employ the 72 names generally disagree with that description. Instead, each of the 72 Kabbalistic names provides the name of an angel, and some occultists also associate a demon with each name.

The combination of these 72 names creates the 216-letter name of God, in reference to Exodus 23:20-21:

"Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared. Give heed to him and hearken to his voice, do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgressions; for my name is in him."

This name is commonly referred to as the Shemhamphorasch or Shem ha-Mephorash, just as the 4-letter name of God is commonly called the Tetragrammaton.

Origin And Construction Of The 72 Names

The 72 names are each constructed of three letters and are derived from Exodus 14:19-21:

"And the angel of God who went before the camp of Israel moved and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before them and stood behind them, coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And it was the cloud and the darkness, and the night without one coming near the other all night. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided."

The first name consists of the first Hebrew character of verse 19, the first character from verse 20, and the first character from verse 21. The second name is constructed from the second character of each verse, and so on. Some believe it was the Shemhamphorasch name that Moses used to part the Red Sea, as described in the source passage from Exodus.

Such rearrangements of passages of the Torah are common in Kabbalah. Kabbalists accept that the Torah has many layers of meanings, from the literal and obvious message of the letters to what is hidden within the arrangement of letters.

Shemhamforash in LaVeyan Satanism

The word "Shemhamforash" is commonly employed in the rituals of the Church of Satan. It is meant to invoke the names of the 72 demons, not angels, just as their rituals commonly use the names of Biblical monsters and demons and a variety a pagan deities associated with Satanic spheres of influence such as sexuality and materiality.

Kabbalah Centre Meditations On The 72 Names

The Kabbalah Centre encourages followers to meditate upon particular names depending upon one's need at the moment. These meditations help to awaken these words within each them, where they have always been residing but are generally unnoticed. The names may also be fashioned into jewelry and worn to attract the particular associated influences to the wearer.
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